Night bars still not allowed in city

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Night establishments are still not allowed to operate in the city pursuant to national guidelines on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but may shift to being “resto bars” or dine-in establishments while on hiatus.

City Permits and Licensing Division Head Allan Abayao said this was relayed to the sector during the meeting with around 120 bar owners, operators, in-house bands and masseurs Oct. 16.

Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Director Samuel Gallardo said that as per their guidelines, night clubs and bars are still among those not allowed to re-operate in view of the COVID-19 and curfew restrictions.

Abayao said that as an alternative, bars may convert their operations into “resto bars” where they can serve like dine-in establishments and serve liquor as incidental to dining.

He said an executive order will be issued by Mayor Benjamin Magalong defining the guidelines or checklist that will be followed in operating the resto bars to be prepared by Executive Asst. IV Althea Alberto.

Foremost in the guidelines is the compliance to the health protocols and the signing of an undertaking or commitment which is currently up for approval by the City Inter-Agency Task Force.

Joint inspections of the establishments by the DTI, PLD, City Health Services Office and Dept. of Labor and Employment will be done before the re-opening.

Allied performances like live band, acoustic, videoke must also be inspected to ensure compliance with health protocols.

Establishments that have no business permits will not be allowed to operate as resto bars.

Bar owners are looking forward to moving the curfew time from 10 PM to 12 midnight but they have to wait for the announcement of the national government by Nov. 1. – Aileen P. Refuerzo